The House Oversight Committee led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, met on Tuesday to discuss authorizing subpoenas into how security clearances were issued to senior White House officials.
This comes after a White House whistleblower said that more than two dozen security clearance denials were reversed during the Trump administration. Further, it’s worth noting that the whistleblower “reached out to Democrats.”
According to a press release, Cummings said, the whistleblower“ has come forward at great personal risk to warn Congress—and the nation—about the grave security risks she has been witnessing first-hand over the past two years. She has informed the Committee that during the Trump Administration, she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned.”
Cummings also released a memo to Committee Members detailing the “troubling concerns” raised by the whistleblower, Trisha Newbold.
During the hearing however, Rep. Cummings put his full irritation on full display, grandstanding, and acted in bad faith as he didn’t inform Republicans until a day before of the details. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called him out for his dirty tricks.
(Related: Jordan RIPS Cummings Over His Latest Committee Chair Tricks: ‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’) (Continued Below)
Cummings during the meeting, proposed a resolution that would give him authority to issue a subpoena to Cole Klein, who served as the White House personnel security director under the Trump administration.
“Yesterday, I sent committee members providing information from a detail on the record interview, with a whistleblower. A brave whistleblower, I might add, who currently works in the White House.” Cummings said.
He added, “This brave, young lady, the whistleblower, Tricia Newbold, came forward at great personal risk to warn the Congress and the nation about the grave security risks she has been witnessing first hand over the past two years.” (Continued Below)
Cumming read off part of her statement and said that she has been working at the White House for 18 years, giving her “blood, sweat, and tears” to make sure that the security clearance process works properly.
Cummings said that “during the Trump administration” Newbold and and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned.”
He stated that the whistleblower raised her concerns in the White House and then she was targeted for retaliation. “Yet, despite these risks, she has agreed to identify herself publicly at this time, because she strongly believes that the Congress must intervene immediately to safeguard our national security.”
Cummings read off another part of her statement in which she asserted, “This is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office.”
That’s when Cummings lost it and yelled, “I just want to emphasize that point that she came forward, because the system at the White House is so dysfunctional that she believes Congress needs to intervene!” He added, “In other words, she’s crying out. She’s begging us to do something, because she simply wants her government to work the way it’s supposed to. She gets it after 18 years. She called us on to act to do our jobs to do credible, independent oversight.” (Continued Below)
Cummings claimed that he asked the White House for information and “voluntary compliance” 4 different times and that they refused to provide it to him or answer him.
“To this day they have not produced a single piece of paper or a single requested witness to this committee. It was not until yesterday after the whistleblowers claim that was made public, that we finally received a last minute letter from Mr. Klein’s lawyer and the White House saying he would voluntarily comply.” He added, “But, he will come in voluntary, but he will not answer any of our questions about specific officials, about specific security violations, or about specific security clearance adjudications. Instead, he will only talk about general policies.”
Cummings concluded, “This is not sufficient so I strongly urge my colleagues to support this subpoena The White House needs to understand they cannot stonewall and stall this committee for months.Let me be clear: over and over I hear these comments that, ‘Oh, they’re just trying to embarrass the President.’ No! That is not true! What we are trying to do is protect our secrets.” He added and yelled, “So again, Ms. Newbold has come forward, she said please– you have a lady who’s in there in the White House who is begging us to just do our job, and I beg for the same thing.”